Company proposes to re-open former Bucksport factory landfill
A scrap company that owns part of the former Bucksport factory site has floated the idea of partnering with the city to reopen a local landfill for construction and demolition debris.
American Iron and Metal, which bought the former Verso paper mill after it closed in 2014, offered to work with Bucksport to reactivate the 1.1 million cubic meter landfill that hosted papermaking byproducts at the mill. period of its heyday.
The arrangement, which has yet to be formally heard by city council, was discussed in a closed session last week with the city’s economic development committee. This may be one of the only ways to use the now closed landfill portion of the plant site in the future due to state environmental protection laws.
Such a proposal could be beneficial for both the company and the city. Through this business, AIM could earn money through tips. The city could dispose of its own waste at a discounted rate and get a portion of AIM’s fees, city officials say.
But AIM cannot revive the landfill without Bucksport or another municipal entity. The state banned the opening of new commercial landfills in the 1980s, but still allows cities to operate them, said Bucksport City Manager Susan Lessard.
Lessard pointed out that the proposal is still in its early stages and that the only document detailing the idea is currently confidential — a common practice for the many economic development proposals that come into town hall.
The landfill’s potential reopening is set to go to a city council infrastructure subcommittee on November 10.
“It’s the discovery phase to see if it’s an idea of merit,” Lessard said.
Lessard has known of AIM’s intentions for this type of project for some time, but it was put on the back burner at the start of the pandemic.
After dismantling the paper mill, AIM sold several parcels of the site to the Maine Maritime Academy for a professional development center and a planned fish farm. But the company still owns parts of the factory site, including the landfill.
The city currently has its construction and demolition waste picked up by DM&J Waste, a Winterport-based waste disposal company.
If this materialized, AIM’s landfill would not take household waste.